Sandi Mitchell, CEO , Apex Catalyst GroupSandi Mitchell, CEO
Apex Catalyst Group is a business management firm helping individuals become exceptional leaders with its leadership development and executive coaching programs. It inspires people to develop effective workplaces built on trust, open communication, and respect for one another. Apex Catalyst Group also focuses on assisting business leaders, their leadership teams, and the entire ecosystem of their business in being more intentional, purposeful, and transparent enabling them to have more purposeful and profitable growth.

In an interview with Manage HR, Sandi Mitchell, CEO of Apex Catalyst Group, shares insights into the company’s approach and how it creates exceptional leadership.

The Ideal Mix of Technical, People, and Strategic Skills

For any individual to start a profession, it’s important to have 80 percent technical skills and 20 percent people skills. And as these individuals transform themselves into leaders, they need to flip this skill set ratio into 80 percent emotional intelligence and 20 percent technical intelligence. We at Apex Catalyst Group emphasize the development of people and strategic skills to help individuals become effective leaders.

Challenges for Today’s Leaders

In the last couple of years, the world has changed drastically. People today want autonomy in their jobs. At Apex, our goal is to help leaders learn the intricacies of leading an autonomous team. This is a key step toward ensuring retention, creating strategic business agility, and aligning everyone to achieve a singular goal. This alignment with the mission and vision, along with training and coaching, gives the leader the trust they need in their team to give them the autonomy they desire.

We believe that people are not afraid of change; they are afraid of the unknown. We strive to make leaders more agile in their approach, helping them pivot in the right direction and communicate effectively with others to align them with organizational vision.

Unique Approaches to Steer Ahead of Challenges

We have an O2 Initiative that assists leaders in finding the business and team success they are looking for. Through this program, we place a strong emphasis on outcomes and outputs. We have discovered that most businesses are so focused on the outputs or the metrics and the data (the what) that they forget about the outcomes (the why). We help clients identify what success looks like for them as well as what they need to do to achieve it. It is this purposeful integration of the business and people systems for consistent, controlled, and profitable growth.

Based on the fast pace of the business world today, we have moved to a focus on leadership sprints that are between one to three months long.
They integrate into a series of leadership development programs that best serves the immediate and long-term needs of the organization. These include topics such as how to lead autonomous teams, decision making, productivity, accountability, and strategic thinking.

We focus on team or group training. Although we spend a significant time working with the executive team, we can also work with every team in the organization. This is crucial to give everyone the same language at the same time. It’s not one person learning something and trying to implement it without others knowing about it. By focusing on the team, we ensure higher growth and faster implementation of the learning.

An Intriguing Instance of Client Success

We had a client who had been a part of an international hotel brand for many years and decided to separate from that brand during the pandemic. We took them through our integrated three-point program called the O2 Initiative, and within 18 months the company achieved 40 percent profit (the highest in its history), 87 percent employee satisfaction rate, and a retention rate of more than 85 percent this year (unheard of in the hospitality industry). They won the award of the best small business and Best Place to Work.
  • We at Apex Catalyst Group emphasize the development of people and strategic skills to help individuals become effective leaders

From a leadership standpoint, their leadership team is more aligned than ever before, with departments no longer siloed. Also, the program has helped the client create a true leadership team, not just a group of leaders fighting for their own departments.

Factors that Contribute Toward Competitive Advantage

Everyone on our team has more than 20 years of experience in leadership positions. We know how to create strategies and implement those for business growth, as well as understand the human design and emotional intelligence needed. This combination not only allows us to help leaders understand the necessary integration of both the outputs and the outcomes, but we do it in a way that excites people to maintain the growth mindset.